Vets Form A Social-Networking Site for Ex-Military

RallyPoint pageBy Gabrielle Karol

After serving in the Army in the same region of Iraq in 2008, Yinon Weiss and Aaron Kletzing reconnected a few years later at Harvard Business School, where Weiss was the co-president of the Veteran's Club.

"At business school, we were using LinkedIn -- it was a hyper-networking environment. We both recognized we had never been exposed to that in the military community," says Weiss.



It was then Weiss and Kletzing say they recognized a need for a networking site tailored to service members. So, they set out to build one themselves. Armed with $1.6 million from private angel investors and $100,000 won through the Harvard Business School Business Plan Challenge and MassChallenge, Weiss and Kletzing built RallyPoint a "LinkedIn for the military," which launched in November.

More: How To Get Hired After The Military

On Memorial Day, RallyPoint is launching a new tool, which the company says will help connect vets to job opportunities and create networking opportunities for veterans with similar military experiences. Weiss says active service members rarely think about the job application process, because positions are centrally managed by the military.

"There are no job postings, and you never apply for jobs," says Weiss. That said, Weiss says there's a need for more knowledge about positions that may be opening up down the line -- especially for those who are toying with the idea of leaving the military. Weiss says most military positions last for 18-months at a time.

"If you know you're rotating you're your job 18 months from now, you can self-report that and query other people like you in the military to see which positions they're vacating at the same time," says Weiss. "It gives transparency to the career process within the military."

Weiss says RallyPoint also allows service members to search by unit, rank and specialization, so they can find people and opportunities well-suited to them.

More: Job Hunters: It's Time To Step Up Your Social Media Game

Weiss says veterans transitioning from the military to the private sector have trouble translating esoteric military terms to potential employers, so RallyPoint connects users with other veterans with similar backgrounds now working in the corporate world.

"If you're a sergeant and you connect with another sergeant [now working in a corporate job], he can help explain to you the application process, help you figure out how to translate your skills and tell you why you might be good at this position," says Weiss.

Weiss says the veteran-focused tool will first identify members by their private sector jobs, and then at the bottom, will have their military career details. He says this structure provides a helpful research opportunity, as recent veterans can see how different military skills translate into a variety of private sector positions.

There are a number of online resources available for veterans seeking career opportunities, including Military Career Coach, which is an online tool by Accenture and LinkedIn which helps veterans with their resumes and interviewing skills; Military.com, which has a veteran career network; Vets in Tech and Incline, which both help veterans get technology jobs; and Fidelis, which aims to smooth out the military-to-civilian career transition.

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rob.rowen

My recent research highlighted an issue that I knew was struggling, but I had no idea to what extent, until I read some alarming reports. Our veterans are suffering due to long delays (6-9 months) in getting their claims processed for benefits. The VA has openly admitted that they are literally buried in paperwork, and even though there has been an increase in funding to deal with these problems, the level falls far short of what is actually needed. Our government sent our men and women into harms way, without fully understanding or anticipating the scope of physical and mental health issues our returning veterans would be facing. With the advances in medical science, many soldiers that did not survive in prior wars, have survived, and are in need of help. Also, the number of deployments, has created a mental health crisis, that our veterans are suffering from. As such, I created a petition that demands Congress to provide emergency funding at levels appropriate to address these issues. Attached is the link, please sign it and share it with as many people as possible. Together we can make sure our veterans get the help they deserve.
Subject: Demand better and more timely care for our veterans.

Hi,

I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama which says:

"The United States sends our veterans to war, and when our veterans return home with mental health issues, such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), the government fails miserably in providing adequate and timely health services and compensation. From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, our veterans deserve better. Whatever resources are needed to streamline treatment, claims processing, and counseling, we need to demand that Congress provide emergency priority funding, giving our best to those who gave their best for us. "

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/demand-better-and-more?source=c.em.cp&r_by=9613277

Thanks!

March 23 2014 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jt7smile

This is crazy! There are plenty of networking sites for VETERANS!!!
They can all get on there and talk about how to fake PTSD and get a government check...LOL!

May 29 2013 at 7:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

What to do about PTSD ??? I was an FO in 1967 68 and still don't relate . I have never learned to even like my self in a real manner, just reflecting back and not knowing it. I wish I could be normal?? What is normal ?? I do see others that are calm and handle life kind of easy. I wish I could. !!
The best answer I have found is Church and let go and let love be my gideing light, but that is hard to find.
God Bless and good luck

May 29 2013 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia

I hope this site also provides military people who are not officers just the average joe a chance , they have a lot to offer. Not everyone can be a boss type.

May 28 2013 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Patricia's comment
batatamata

Anyone can be a manager. It's hard work and requires several skills. The best managers begin at an entry level position and have a good education. Getting an education while working is easier with support from friends and family.

May 28 2013 at 7:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ted Langs

The country is overlooking a source of excellent working men and women getting out of the military. A National project for returning vets would be ideal. Tapping into their ability to go the extra mile is often overlooked. Being organized is a excellent trait noted in most ex military men and women. Building a transportation system and running it would be a excellent use for them. Pay them well and hire them after it is built to run it. You will have one heck of a proud system with them in charge.

May 28 2013 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia

Thats wonderful. I hope it works out for them. When I was in the military compters were just getting into the game. I remember being able to buy my first compter for home use a vic 20 and I thought wow this is cool. Now look at what we have. Why not use it to help the ex-military find work, why not exspand it to help their families find work, help or other needs. I know I would have used it.

May 28 2013 at 8:40 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lynnbrown45

I think it's great that there is now a site just for military to help them find work

however, what about the families ?? When they come back and just leave us -- there's not one single place, agency or site that gives a damn about the families or that they are living in poverty !!

May 27 2013 at 3:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lynnbrown45's comment
jsujet

Yellow Ribbon events provide job finding opportunities for families as well for Reservists. It's actually quite a good program.

May 28 2013 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Walker

This is great . Just like I commented a couple months back the goverment kicks us to the curb after they are done with us so we need to continue what we did while we were in and that is look out for each other. God bless you and we love you.

May 27 2013 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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